Wednesday, 09 November 2016 08:52

Take some time to remember

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In the rush to get from Halloween to Christmas, there is a very important November day that is marked by many people, but never enough.

November 11 is the day that marks the end of the First World War. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, fighting ceased. What started four years earlier, ended with silence, but also the loss of more than nine-million soldiers and seven-million civilians. Peace reigned for many years, but unfortunately the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945, saw even more lives lost.
Every year, Canadians remember those lives lost, and countless others in conflicts that have taken place around the world in the years since.
Unfortunately, too many people see Nov. 11 as a statutory holiday — a chance to stay home and catch up on that must-see television. It’s so much more than that.
This special day in November is more than just two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. It’s about remembering those veterans who served their country and in many cases gave up their lives. It’s about listening or reading their stories. It’s sharing those stories with others. It’s peaceful reflection. It’s taking a deeper look within to see how each individual can ensure he or she never forgets the sacrifices that have been made.
Make a point this year of doing a special activity to mark Remembrance Day, whether it’s attending your local ceremony at the cenotaph in your community, or quietly contemplating history at home. Teach children to take some time to remember.
There are other ways that have been suggested to mark this important day and they can be done all year long. They include taking a soldier or veteran out for a meal or plan a stress-free day; volunteering at a veterans’ association such as the local Royal Canadian Legion; offering special skills to assist a veteran at no charge; show patriotism by displaying a flag, participating in democracy by voting and reading up on current events; visiting historical sites; or watching documentaries on life-changing events from the past.
There are many quotes about ignoring history and being doomed to repeat it. One of the most famous ones in its original form can be attributed to George Santayana (1863-1952) who was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist originally from Spain, but raised and educated in the United States. He said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
More current author Wynne McLaughlin, who earned the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award Winner for The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book: Fiction, for his first novel The Bone Feud, also said it best when he quipped, “Maybe history wouldn’t have to repeat itself, if we listened once in awhile.”
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor